It's been a month since I was soundly thrashed by a professional player of Rocket League [official site] and I still haven't recovered. But it makes me feel slightly better that the best players of the game are about to embark on a weekend of tense, tough-as-nails car football. The Rocket League Championship finals are taking place this Saturday and Sunday in Hollywood, and eight teams are battling for a share of the remaining $55,000 prize pool. Come find out where to watch it and how it’s all going down.
Four of the teams that made it through the qualifying rounds are European and four are from North America. They’ve each fended off dozens of other teams in round robins and the group stages held online. Now they'll fight it out in a double elimination bracket starting on Saturday at 10.30am PDT. They’ll play through to the next day, when the grand final is scheduled for 4pm PDT. The ultimate winners will take home the grand prize of $27,500.
If you want to watch all the rocket cars boosting their little hearts out and punting balls across the field in a terrifyingly skillful fashion, you can tune in on the official Twitch channel. All the exact times for each round along with a rundown of teams can be found here. The pro player who wiped the floor with me last month is Fireburner from Kings of Urban, currently the top-ranked team among the Americans.
“We're feeling really excited about it and are looking forward to it,” he said. “We practiced a fair bit before we left and today we will be able to scrim on the LAN client. The only thing we're worried about at the start is getting used to the atmosphere and the setups.”
The Kings are going to come up against tough competition not just from their countrymen but also from Europe. Fireburner has previously said how tough Flipsid3 Tactics can be to beat, for instance, and that team's track record seems to back it up - they've won a total of 52 matches from the qualifying rounds and lost just 18. The RLCS is doing a few spotlight videos on some of the other players, if you fancy getting to know more of the people involved.
It’s a good month for esports. The Dota International is ramping up, and the Overwatch Open playoffs are happening at the end of the month. We’ll have more to report on the rocketeers when the smoke clears and the winners have been announced.